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Learning to Dad with Tyler Ross 002 - Jeff Patnaude

Speaker 2: Okay. Hello. [00:00:30] This is Tyler Ross, and this is learning to dad. My guest today is Jeff Patnode. Jeff is the author of seven books on leadership and mentoring and over 25 children's books. Jeff is a teacher speaker composer business leader, and executive mentor. And if you have not heard it, his TEDx talk from great to the greater good when great is not good enough is worth the listen. Jeff, thank you very much for allowing me to come up to your home here and spend time with you [00:01:00] and my pleasure. So of the things that I just kind of talked about, is there anything that kind of resonates with you or anything that you feel like you'd like included as you'd done so much?

Speaker 3: Do you forgot mowing? I have 90 acres of lawn now, so I spend four days a week at least mowing and then start over again. So, but that's where I get a lot of my great thinking.

Speaker 2: Yeah. So that reminds me of my drive up here. We're in Warrenton, [00:01:30] Virginia at an estate called disparities. And, um, the driveway up the hill is maybe a mile of switchbacks that, that Jeff has referred to as meditation mile. I was listening to the radio playing with my phone. And as soon as I got a third of the way up the driveway, I realized that I needed to shut it all off and just appreciate being here. So disparities, what, what is his asperities

Speaker 3: From Greek mythology, which was [00:02:00] Hercules garden, had a golden apple tree and he had to disparities who were nymphs that guarded the tree. And the two that are hanging up there is from a painting I found in Thailand and they're not exactly the disparities, but there are two angels and they remind our guests who sit at this table and we have many of them that this is a special place guarded by angels.

Speaker 2: And that's a great segue to talk about, uh, your being a minister [00:02:30] because we, in terms, of course, in purpose of our conversation here is for the benefit of, of parents. You know, in life professional life, we have very measurable tangibles, you know, in baseball game, there's a score at the end of the game and business. There's, you know, the accounting records and you can identify kind of your metrics on your success, but in parenthood until your child's grown, it's really hard to express to your success as a parent, but we haven't had a perspective [00:03:00] of that, of a minister. So I'm excited to have a conversation with that in mind. When, when did you become a minister?

Speaker 3: Uh, I was ordained to the diaconate in 1974 and six months later, the priesthood in the Episcopal church. So for 44 years, I've been a priest in the church and the last 30 years as a priest to the marketplace where I've worked with over a hundred corporations and probably 50,000 business leaders [00:03:30] about what it means to be spiritual as a leader in the workplace.

Speaker 2: And I watched your TEDx talk last night, which I thought was really great and speaks directly to that. The idea that you can bring that into the world, into the business world and to build your great business on a foundation of goodness. I wonder how it translates into parenthood, uh, in, in 1974, where were you in your familial life? Did you have children at that?

Speaker 3: [00:04:00] 1975 Julie was born. So we, uh, we were married in 1970 and, uh, waited until I finished seminary before our first child, Julie born in Birmingham, Michigan, my first parish where I was a curate and assistant in a very, very large parish with Detroit workers and executives, Pete justice, who is the president of general motors was one of our congregational members. The Iacocca's daughter, [00:04:30] Kathy was in one of my classes. And so I got a chance as a 24 year old to hang out with some of the biggest icons in industry for a short period of time, which really opened my eyes to their need or their search for spirituality. And so it was great, especially Pete S who was head then of GM, the largest corporation in the world, and to see him on his knees and to be a humble man was very, very important for me [00:05:00] to realize that the marketplace was where people went every day, occasionally they went to church.

Speaker 3: And so if I went to them on a daily basis, I might make a bigger difference. That reality didn't become apparent to me for another 13 years. And I went on to have a very vibrant parish in Menlo park, California, where the Titans of the emerging Silicon valley lived in attended. And [00:05:30] it was fascinating in 1976 to be in Silicon valley before it was ever Silicon valley. I ended up living on the same street as Steve jobs, Larry Page. And we think mark Zuckerberg was just a young kid on the same street playing out in the industry. So, uh, Dave Packard, they were part of our congregation and his garage where Hewlett Packard started was just a, from my house where buses would pull up just to [00:06:00] see this historic spot. So it was a vibrant place, one mile from Stanford university and some of the most brilliant people in the world were there and I got to minister to them.

Speaker 2: So how, how long were you in Michigan? You had Julie while you were in Michigan.

Speaker 3: Yes, we were there just two years before I got called to California.

Speaker 2: So when you say called that a phone call, you've received,

Speaker 3: Oh, there [00:06:30] are phone calls and letters. Yeah. But the holy spirit has a way of speaking more loudly and it became clear, even though my wife did not want to move to California, she's still there today. She eventually realized the beauty of living in the San Francisco bay area. And it was a great opportunity for a very young priest to be a part of what became one of the largest parishes on the west coast.

Speaker 2: So in 19 74, 75, [00:07:00] you have your first child and you move as a young 24, 25 years old and moved to California, was having a child. Part of that decision, part of what created that change in the trajectory and part of the calling.

Speaker 3: Well, we knew that we wanted to have children, so we just waited until Nancy could stop working and I could start earning a living. I made a whole $7,500 a year. [00:07:30] When I think back to that now, I think, oh my gosh. And I thought that was great. Of course, it came with a package of housing and car and insurance and all that, but to think of $7,500 a year for that hard work. So having children was part of our plan. And then Laura, once we moved to California was born in 1978. So we ended up with our two precious little girls who still are our precious little girls.

Speaker 2: [00:08:00] And they've given you grandchildren.

Speaker 3: Ah, yes. We have two precious little granddaughters from Laura and John, her husband. And it has opened my eyes to my judgment of grandparents who in the past would always whip out their pictures and you'd have to watch all these things. And now I know exactly why they do what they did because these two little girls have just grabbed hold of our hearts [00:08:30] in ways that you never thought possible

Speaker 2: Outwardly an inspiration to do children's books, children's books.

Speaker 3: Yeah. Actually my first children's book came around 1978 when the fourth grade teacher of our daughter, Julie, maybe it was a little later died of cancer and she was renowned teacher and I all 300 children were coming to the [00:09:00] parish for the funeral service and about three hours before I was out jogging. And I thought, there's no way you can preach a sermon to little kids. So I'm going to write a children's book based on the character of Jan Hewitt and Jan Hewitt was the teacher who was deceased. She was always a witch at Halloween. And so I called it, which wit which Hewitt, which became witchu it. And she was a witch [00:09:30] with three blessings and she gave her blessings before she finally disappeared. So I read the book to the congregation. It was a huge success. I donated the book to a library fund. They sold 5,000 copies and raised a lot of money for the library. And the great thing was the artwork was done by two of her fourth grade students. And so the artwork was done by kids and it was written for kids. And that was my beginning of children's books.

Speaker 2: [00:10:00] That's wonderful. Well, and was right. When did you start writing?

Speaker 3: Well, you mean writing children's books just generally

Speaker 2: Through the intent of publication?

Speaker 3: I, I went on to do many more children's books after that, that still, some of them are in the process now of being published. So look at that almost 40 years later, they've been sitting around and I always wrote in the parish newsletter, that kind of thing. People came to me and said, you really [00:10:30] need to write a book. And I remember that around 1982, and I thought, oh, writing a real book. I don't say adult books because people always kind of raise their eyebrows. But I finally, in 1988, when I left the parish to begin this work in the marketplace, I decided I would write a book and it's called leading from the maze. It was published by 10 speed press in Berkeley, which is one of the big [00:11:00] publishers as a fascinating story. I had a friend of mine helped me transcribe tapes cause I don't, I dictated most of it.

Speaker 3: And he was at a cocktail party in Berkeley and he was talking about this project. He was working on and there was the acquisitions editor from 10 speed was standing near him. She heard the story. She said, I've got to see this book. Two weeks later, I had a contract with a sizable down payment [00:11:30] as my advance. And I never even met the people and never had anything to do with it. So obviously it was divinely guided and went on to publish it. It was actually a hit for about a year and remain. So today I still sell copies of it, even though it's out of print. And that was the beginning. The second book was living simultaneously balancing self care relationship and work that was easy. And I realized then how easy it was to write books [00:12:00] and they just flow. So since then many more have come in many more around the way I have multiple projects simultaneously. So

Speaker 2: A theme in this interview series is just that, you know, it's people that don't necessarily have to do things but choose to, or are guided to. I presume that if you had everything you ever could need, that you'd continue to write and continue to speak.

Speaker 3: Yes, you [00:12:30] don't go into writing for the money. Although some, some actually make a lot of money. I was just having a conversation with one of someone I know, and he was responsible for getting me into chicken soup for the soul. And that was the fourth edition. It was early on. And I was pleased to be a part of that series. And I happened to say to Martin, my friend, I said, I bet Jack Canfield is one of the wealthiest [00:13:00] guys in America. Uh, because there were 60 versions of that. I think that book, everyone knows it. And he said, do you know how many copies they've sold? I said, no, but you know, I know how popular, I'm going to guess a hundred million. He said, how about 800 million? That is unbelievable. Just this morning I was reading Jack's book and his goal was to sell 1 billion books and donate half [00:13:30] the money to his foundation. So having a passion and being open to a calling to follow through is really the key to people doing what they love and loving what they do and money will follow. Don't go into it for the money, but do it for fulfilling a purpose and, and having fun with the passion,

Speaker 2: The, the follow through it seems to be a, uh, a trigger point for [00:14:00] people like taking that first action that step small or big. Uh, do you have any advice for anyone that's sitting on the sidelines that has an idea that they haven't taken a first step toward?

Speaker 3: Sure. This is a concept I shared with our summer camp of kids. We are working with high schoolers in West Virginia and, uh, my leadership program called the habits of heroes. And we had kids there who had stories that were really unbelievable. They were abandoned [00:14:30] by their parents. Two, 15 year old girls who were at our summer camp were living in an apartment. They were working part-time to pay their bills and going to school full-time and they were in our leadership program. So they serve as an example for all of us to, to do what needs to be done. And what I encourage people to do is take micro movements. So many steps toward achieving your goal. Don't don't [00:15:00] try to begin with the end in mind, begin with the first step is loud. Sue said the journey of a thousand miles begins for the first step. I always loved the acidic tradition that the red sea never parted until Moses first put his foot in the water. And so we have to really stick our foot out and get started if we're going to fulfill our dreams. And I heard it

Speaker 2: Great line the other day, that was a, everybody wants the peak. Everyone wants the summit, but they forget that the mountains there. [00:15:30] So to get to the peak, you still have to climb the mountain. So 19 74, 75, uh, you have your first child. Um, how does that change the trajectory of your professional life? It sounded like you were planning for that. You were preparing yourself. Did you find out that you were prepared to have a child or was it still kind of shock and off, you know, this child being introduced to your

Speaker 3: Well, we prepared to have a child and [00:16:00] what I was not prepared for, even though I was in the business of preaching love was to discover the true meaning of unconditional love and sacrificial love my wife and I would have thrown our lives in front of a bus at any moment to save our child. And when a parent discovers that depth of love, that is so beyond what our sense of romances and we, [00:16:30] we would sacrifice our life for our child. We get an indication of what God did when we hear the story of he gave his only son. So it's a spiritual experience to have a child. And I've heard so many people and clients who've been in this room. Talk about the depth of their love for their children that they never knew was possible before.

Speaker 2: Yeah, my non-parent friends, we have a hard time relating [00:17:00] on that level because I know exactly of what you speak. Uh, it truly is, uh, incredibly moving. So to answer the question that some people have non-parents particularly, you have two children, how do they, how do you divide your love?

Speaker 3: You never divide, right?

Speaker 2: There's enough for everybody. That's right. Infinite. Um, so do you remember finding out that you were going to be a parent when your wife said [00:17:30] I'm pregnant?

Speaker 3: I don't not the first time, a second time. I do, but not the first time. Uh, I do remember her calling me saying, Jeff, you need to come home. My water's broken. So that part I remember, and off to the hospital, we went, but not, not the first announcement now.

Speaker 2: So with two children, you are under 30 still, what's your life look like at that point? You're living in San Francisco [00:18:00] in a, in an apartment. Yeah.

Speaker 3: We lived in the rectory, which is typical of churches that they have a house that goes along with the parish. It's a good thing in one way, because you're close, but it's a bad thing because you're close and everyone knocks on your door. And eventually we moved off the property, but, uh, we had a beautiful big home right there for our children and we, we loved it. So [00:18:30] it was very much a family home. And of course the parish loved it because it was the first time they'd have had a priest who actually had young children. So they just swept up those kids and just loved them.

Speaker 2: That's amazing. So that in, tell me about that environment that your kids kind of grew up in, you know, uh, would that big group of people and living in a big city and of course, contrast that to now where you're living on the top of a mountain with, you know, 90 acres [00:19:00] around you, and do you feel there was a benefit or like, would you have changed that environment? Okay.

Speaker 3: I think we did, did change it for that reason that they were too much the center of attention, whether it was criticism or people's comments, or just adoring love. Our kids became PKS preacher kids who eventually, especially the, our first child, [00:19:30] uh, started to just resist that kind of she's an introvert anyway. So she didn't like the attention, our second child flourished under it because she's an extrovert. And she today continues to be the center of very large circles as a senior vice president of HR and a major company. So it has had its advantages, but any community can be challenging. And so we eventually moved off the property. And I remember [00:20:00] the first day when I said to my office staff, I'm going home and I drove, got in my car and drove away from the property and it was so freeing. It felt wonderful.

Speaker 2: So for your work, did having children change your approach to delivering your work?

Speaker 3: Yeah, I think I became certainly more sensitive, more understanding more patient. I always loved kids and I did [00:20:30] a children's story every Sunday. And this was a big by this time had become a big parish and I would have 50 to 60 little kids sitting on the, on the step with me. I always played guitar and sang to them and I would always tell a story. And it was kind of like art link letters. The kids say the darndest thing, the congregation was poised for some comment and they would explode with laughter. I once asked, I was teaching about the prophets, Jeremiah [00:21:00] and Amos. And I said, do you know what a prophet is? And one child said, yes, you buy something for 10 cents herself for 15. Well, the place just lost. And of course, Silicon valley, they loved the profit nature of that story.

Speaker 3: So it was great time, loved kids. And I went on to build some of the biggest youth groups known to the diocese. I started a summer camp in 1975 called bread, which still exists today. [00:21:30] These 43 years later, uh, probably 30,000 kids have gone through it. It's a, uh, it's offered now, I think in four or five weeks segments in Northern California. And it, uh, is remarkably successful. So a lot of legacy work came out of my work with children. I wrote three stage musicals while I was there in California. They all toured Europe, [00:22:00] U S Canada with kids, uh, who would first go out on the road and test it out. And we do 50 performances over several months time. And, uh, one of them showcase for New York in 1980 as it had a million dollar backing, the fifties rock musical called Hosea. And today it may be one I'll bring out again and rewrite maybe a few years from now. So youth programs were just vibrant in, [00:22:30] even though I was the head clergy person, I was also known for doing very involved youth work and changing the lives of these kids. In fact, in 1980, I took 140 kids to Europe for five weeks to rebuild a peace center in Glen Cree Ireland in the Wicklow mountains, that was a reconciliation center that was about to be closed. We did all the work and it still exists today. And [00:23:00] from my work with youth 21, people have gone into the ministry as a result of that.

Speaker 2: Yeah. With all that work with youth, what lessons do you feel like you imparted that you're most proud to have shared?

Speaker 3: I think the insecurity, the kids carry putting them on stage singing in front of people is one of the most vulnerable things you can do. So many kids would say in the first year I'll work [00:23:30] behind the scenes. I'll do the lights or the costumes the next year they were in the cast because they saw the incredible reward that came from, from being on stage and receiving applause and to feeling good about themselves. These kids' lives changed right in front of our eyes. And many of them today stay in touch with me and they're all in their fifties. And I can't believe they've gotten so old.

Speaker 2: Well, that's amazing. [00:24:00] I was the spotlight kid. You know, I was not in the spotlight. I was behind the spotlight, pointing it at the kid on stage. I never cared.

Speaker 3: You should have been with me. I would have had you on stage the next year.

Speaker 2: Oh, I'd definitely would have benefited from that. I think so with that conscious awareness of being with kids and, and your ministry or your parish, do you feel like that enhanced your position as a parent for your own kids?

Speaker 3: Yeah. I think [00:24:30] the understanding of vulnerability is what parents and men in particular need to know about emotional availability, emotional intelligence, being able to touch your children, to love them, to play with them, to roll around the floor with them, laugh, be outrageous in your, your humor and just have a good time with your kids. That doesn't mean that you relax your standards and the values that you believe [00:25:00] that are very important. My daughters still talk about the look. All they needed was the look from dad across the table and they behaved perfectly and they laugh about it today. And, and yet to touch my children was so important because I had a father in particular. Who'd never touched me. He loved us. We had six children. He worked hard. He was a good man. He never became a hero for me until his last [00:25:30] 10 years of life as a mentor.

Speaker 3: But he was frozen. I first touched him when I went off to college at the age of 17 and shook hands to say goodbye. And I remember that. And when I was ordained to the priesthood, you pass the peace and you hug everyone as a lot of people hate to think about it because they don't like that stuff. But I remember moving down the line, thinking I'm going to hug my father for the first time in my, my memory. [00:26:00] And we hugged. And then he became so huggable in the years later that that's all he did was want to hug me. What a contrast from the father who never touched is his son, but that's because his father never touched his son. So I would say to parents, be open with your feelings, your fears, your concerns, your joy is be transparent and be available to [00:26:30] your kids. Don't try to protect them from what has become, of course, the greatest motivator in success, which is emotional intelligence.

Speaker 2: That's such an interesting story, grandfather and my dad weren't were like that. You know, they didn't have an open emotional relationship. In fact, my grandfather is in the habit now of he's softening, uh, as a human. And now he gives out certificates that say hugs, cause [00:27:00] he physically is yes, not comfortable actually giving a hug. So he gives out certificates as hot. And I think it's a huge bridge for him, which is really wonderful. Uh, do you expect that your father and my dad's dad are part of a generation that was kind of conditioned to not do that? Do you think that's different than what men are supposed to be now, or

Speaker 3: I think in some, some aspects of our society, if you look [00:27:30] at leadership and the transformation of leadership, which has been my business for 30 years, the fifties were militaristic command and control because men came out of the military and that is all transitioned into the team, building manager and leader, the transformational leader, et cetera, which is what we've worked toward for all these years. So there are certain areas of culture that always can shift. And [00:28:00] I think parenting is, is one of those where conscious parenting is about what we're talking about. It's not about helicoptering. It's not about letting your kids do whatever they want and giving them whatever they want, but it's about being emotionally available and spiritually available. So you talk about things of substance. In contrast, there will always be a part of our culture that is hardened and [00:28:30] geared toward testosterone and men are real men don't cry it, et cetera, but that's always going to be the case. Gangas Kahn will always be among us.

Speaker 2: So that's definitely part of the inspiration is share stories like this is to help men become more emotionally available just by listening to two men talking about being available for their children. That's like the easy [00:29:00] way into somebody life is to talk about their kids because people just glow. So how would you say, would you acknowledge a change in your own life as being a 25 year old dad versus being a grandfather now in the way that you approached that

Speaker 3: I've been sured? I, uh, I was a single parent because Nancy and I were divorced after the girls were 11 and eight. So it was a very painful time. So for about 20, almost 25 [00:29:30] years, I was a single dad and my daughters loved it because they had, they always said I was a cool dad as well. That would take them on trips and globally and spend time with them. I was a much better father after the divorce because I made the time to be with them. And I was always with them. I, when I first was single, I had, I couldn't afford anything. And I had a little [00:30:00] tiny apartment on the coast of California and I had only a built-in bed because it was a studio and my children had to sleep on the floor in sleeping bags. And I always felt badly about that.

Speaker 3: Having had lovely homes in the past until many years later, Laura, who ended up working with me for many years, stood up in front of a group. When I asked the question, what's your favorite day of the week? And she stood up [00:30:30] in though. She was not a participant. She was one of the trainers, but she said, I'd like to speak. And I thought, this is interesting. And she said, my favorite day of the week is Wednesdays because we always got to go to dad's house and sleep on the floor and our sleeping bags. And I look forward to that all week now for the first time I heard this and I suddenly let go of all the guilt and shame I'd had all these years about not having beds for my children, because for them, [00:31:00] it was the most important day of the week.

Speaker 3: They got to camp out with a dad. So I learned along the way that, uh, to relax, uh, to, to go with the flow I learned through psychology. And that's part of my training is that you always talk to your children about what's fair because the brain wants fairness, just like it wants autonomy and other elements that make it satisfied. So [00:31:30] I always would say to my children, well, what's fair. What would be a good time to come in? What do you think? So it was self-directed. I never told them. And, and as a result of that, we would always collaborate and come to agreement. Never do I recall, even ever arguing with my children, I would watch that with their mother on occasion and the girls will often do that with their mother, but with their father, they were always willing to dialogue. [00:32:00] And that was, that was marvelous. Really great. And it's still true today. So did,

Speaker 2: Is that an inmate feature of yours that allowed you to have that dialogue? Or did you have to have like a mindful practice to, to maintain that presence during those committee?

Speaker 3: Yeah. I had to make a shift. My, my parents' parenting style was not my style, obviously the emotional part I had to of course change, but also the willingness to engage [00:32:30] the mind that was so important. And it's what I teach have, have taught all these years. There's a genius within each person. And so draw it out of your children, ask them questions, say, what three options can you come up with that we haven't thought of that might be better than what I'm thinking. And that engages them in a process of being a participant. And that's, that's really healthy. And if you don't agree with their options, obviously you, you keep negotiating, [00:33:00] but often they will come up with the best solution. And research has proven that self-directed goals or intentions, 80% of the time are achieved. If people are told what to do, it's 20%. So parents ought to just figure that out, work with your kids, let them come up with the ideas and they'll fulfill the commitment rather than telling them what to do.

Speaker 2: So what do you think is [00:33:30] the role of a father and is it different than what that role has been in the past?

Speaker 3: Well, there are many antiquated views of the father as the protector, the supplier, the provider, and all of that, which are biblically, certainly just yesterday. A Psalm was read about the role of the mother [00:34:00] and the mother was to cook and to work hard and to do this. And I, I said to the person who is reading it in church, please don't read this, uh, we're way beyond this today. Uh, we have to be co co-partners coherence in a process. So the father is a facilitator, a person of values of strength of doing certain tasks that perhaps the mother doesn't do. But I always felt there isn't anything [00:34:30] I won't do. I changed diapers. I got up in the middle of the night. I just did it recently with a granddaughter who could not sleep and had an ear infection and was holding her for hours as she cried. There isn't anything a man can't do and shouldn't do in the raising of a child, just like the mother who does usually too much. And, and I think it's, it's really a shared partnership. So they're in the role definition [00:35:00] of parenting. I believe it is creating a space of love, trust, hope, faith, and play through which the most special guests of our lives pass. And then they are gone. So whatever that, that role definition is as a result of creating that space, do it.

Speaker 2: I think this is a great question for you as a parent and as a leader, how do you teach [00:35:30] people or children to be resilient?

Speaker 3: Well, there are, there are some defined aspects of resiliency and one is self care. So self care is not to be put on the back burner. Like a lot of people do because they say that they don't have time in my book. Living simultaneously was to make it first, [00:36:00] because that is what you bring into relationships and to your workplace. So take care of yourself. So in today's world of children with obesity and we are on the verge of 40% of Americans being obese, uh, we are in a crisis state. Uh, I read about a year ago that the average child spends 28 minutes of week outside. Wow. It's it's epidemic. And so self-care includes [00:36:30] play exploration, adventure, building tree houses, knowing nature, uh, that would be, uh, uh, beginning to resiliency. Self-awareness is another component. And that is about to really understand who you are, what you feel, why, why you're afraid, what drives your behavior.

Speaker 3: Now a little child can start to understand that. And all of my books are about subject matters that opened the door to [00:37:00] that kind of investigation. So it's critical. Uh, relationship building is a third component of resiliency and how you establish relationships at a deep and intimate level is critical because that's the success of their future in the world of work, relationships is everything. And so how courteous they are, manners, eating and dining etiquette, how they dress, how they carry themselves, their [00:37:30] non words, when they speak and sound like they're making noise. And instead of just speaking well, I taught my children public speaking of the age of 10 so that they could actually do it well in public. So those, those elements are contributing. And finally, the one of the real keys is to know your purpose and people who live life on purpose are very resilient. They [00:38:00] are not wandering and meandering in life's labyrinth. Instead they are, they're moving for a reason and a purpose. And when you help your children know that they're here for a reason and it's not to accumulate. It's not to get a job to make the most money so they can buy stuff. It is to contribute to the greater good and a child who starts to have a sense of purpose is someone who will live with passion and fire. They will love life [00:38:30] and not just wonder who they are and why they're here. And you

Speaker 2: Really feel the presence of someone who's truly aligned just when they walk into the room, you don't even have to see them. You can feel it when they walk in. And so as you're preparing them for life and kind of helping guide them to help them help themselves. Um, I'm going to think of it as like bumpers in a bowling alley, where they put the inflatable thing. So the ball stays [00:39:00] in the lane, uh, with the gutters being a, a bad experience. I think of punishment, punishing kids as being a way to be a bumper for them to keep them in a direction that's positive. Do you have a perspective or anything to share about? I used the word punish, um, you know, when your kid is misbehaving, it's not in alignment with what they can be. Do you have any experiences with things that you did or wish you hadn't done [00:39:30] in punishing your kids?

Speaker 3: I'll start with what the last one. First I once spanked Julie, even though my children were disagreed with this, I know if they listened to this, she was, she was only about five. And I spanked her once with a whack on the butt. And I said, you are so stupid. And she turned to me and said, I am not stupid. And it struck my heart with a dagger. [00:40:00] So deep, I immediately realized my foolishness and said, honey, I am sorry. I meant what you did was stupid. You are not stupid. So that was a turning point for me to never, ever diminish someone's integrity and their value. And I never needed to ever physically strike my children. Except for that one time, Laura will disagree because she said that I spanked her once, but I don't remember [00:40:30] that. So what I would do is just what we talked about earlier. I would say, what do you think would be a good restriction to help you remember what you did was not appropriate? So to me, freedom is everything and punishment is restriction. So instead of punishing, I would say, how could we restrict your parameters [00:41:00] in the next week or so to remind you of doing something differently in the future. So that's how I would approach it. And I would let them come up with the ideas. And if I didn't like the idea, I would add some more on my own suggestions.

Speaker 2: Well, actually the first thing that popped into my head, when you said restrictions, while our devices, iPads, iPhones, video games, uh, my kids at three and four years old are very adept at using these things already. As much [00:41:30] as we try to prevent them from having screen time all the time, they just pick it up so quickly. Have you noticed a lot of kids using devices and do you have an opinion on kind of the benefit cost benefit pros and cons?

Speaker 3: Yeah. I have a lot of opinions. We know, uh, the new neuroscience is proving that children's brains, they're being rewired in a very different way. So technology is doing this and we're not, we can't stop it. Uh, our three-year-old when she was two and a half, [00:42:00] could whip through an iPhone and find her favorite songs and, and do things that I, I could not do. I was absolutely astounded to watch her move about this iPhone and do what she was doing that will have its effect. That's why children are not outside. That's why they're not engaging with nature, which has its own way of teaching us nature. Doesn't have laws, nature has habits. And so we as humans live by laws and we have to do that [00:42:30] because we're so undeveloped, we have to put restrictions around ourselves to behave nature just as it naturally. So I, uh, I believe that keeping children from nature, uh, might be one of the worst restrictions even though today's children probably would not think so. So I would imagine today that the greatest restriction would be technology and that's too bad because that there [00:43:00] are things that are far deeper, but it's, it's really taking something away. That means a lot to them.

Speaker 2: What is your greatest hope as a parent or either for your children or just for children in general,

Speaker 3: Uh, that they live a life of meaning and purpose and realize at an early age that giving and giving back is why we're actually [00:43:30] here. That service is what life is about, and that means serving yourself so that you can serve others. Don't become an over caregiver who just serves everyone and doesn't take care of themselves, but making a difference, fulfilling life purpose. That's what I want for my children and my grandchildren. And naturally I want them to be healthy and safe,

Speaker 2: Greatest fear,

Speaker 3: My greatest fear, [00:44:00] the loss certainly of children or grandchildren, but I don't live with fear because it can manifest it's re own reality. I don't worry as a spiritual person, I find that disrespectful. So I'm a person who believes in flow and I surround them with love. Light has sparity angels [00:44:30] and, uh, protect them as I can do best. And their parents can do certainly.

Speaker 2: Oh, I want to ask you about risk, professional risk, uh, risk taking. I know we've had conversations in the past where, you know, you, the confidence that you had in what was going to come through was just unparalleled. So it may not feel like a risk to you, but professionally when people put it all up on the [00:45:00] table, like, do you have any thoughts on risk and risk taking as a, as a parent, uh, from investments from professional risks?

Speaker 3: Yeah. I, my own life story was given to me for the purpose of guiding others, to start companies and to get out of the gilded cage of their paycheck and to follow their passion. So the first thing I think you have to determine is, are you [00:45:30] driven or are you called? And being driven is not really the best energy for achieving without a calling. And so often people say, well, what's a calling and you'll know it if it comes. So it's hard to put a finger on it, but you'll have this sense of intuition or a voice or a spiritual awakening that says, this is, this is what I am supposed to do. [00:46:00] And then, uh, then it's okay to be driven toward achievement because we are naturally achieving humans. We like to achieve our goals, but calling first, uh, then achievement next. And I did it tell my story, 19 88, 40 $800, no car, no possessions, no place to live in no job. I gave up my profession and went to start this work after a divorce [00:46:30] from nothing. And I was paying 3,600 a month in support. So I had about six weeks to live and I went on to build a business that has been substantial over the last 30 years from nothing. So when I talk to people about taking risks, they can't look around here and say, oh yeah, it's easy for you to say, I can say, Hmm, let me tell you where I started, where

Speaker 2: What's the barrier. [00:47:00] Like, did you find that you I'd imagine that you've found your calling had been inside you or had been calling you for a long time, but you had a barrier preventing you from hearing it or being open to it or that a lot of your students have this calling and they just haven't heard it. Uh, they don't acknowledge it. Is there a common barrier that you find people have to drop to accept or allow this calling?

Speaker 3: Yeah, there's, there's a protective within our [00:47:30] ego that says, uh, I will sacrifice too much. Uh, Moses said to God, I, I can't do that. Who am I to speak? And so many prophets in the past have really tried to discourage the call. I heard it when I was 15 and I always knew, so my high school friends all thought, yeah, good luck. Patnode going into the priesthood. [00:48:00] I had a reputation. And, uh, that was, you know, I was a pool shooter. I smoked two packs of cigarettes a day when I was 11. And, uh, and I hustled on the pool table. And, uh, yeah, that was an alter boy every Sunday. So I had my dualistic life going on, but when the calling occurs and the, the lightning bolt hits, and sometimes it's not a lightning bolt, it's just a still quiet voice that says, come [00:48:30] take the risk because you will have all the resources necessary to fulfill it. If, if it actually makes sense,

Speaker 2: I would like to do a little bit of a lightning round, uh, with you just a handful of questions that I think are fun. Is there a TV father that you like a movie or TV dad?

Speaker 3: Fred Rogers.

Speaker 2: Yeah. And, uh, he went on the air when, uh,

Speaker 3: [00:49:00] Sixties. Yeah, I just, yeah, Pittsburgh. I just read an article about him just the other day. And his children said, yeah, that's my dad. He's Mr. Rogers,

Speaker 2: His line. I love you just the way you are. I don't know that there's a better line that I've heard. So what's an attribute of yours as a father that you're proud of

Speaker 3: Steadfastness. [00:49:30] I will always be there.

Speaker 2: What do you think is something a thing that every father should have,

Speaker 3: Uh, chair there? I have two chairs, one that I sit in every morning for two, two hours or so for quiet sitting, quietly contemplative and for reading. And then I have one upstairs, [00:50:00] which is for sports and TV. Yeah.

Speaker 2: If you were writing a book, a biography about your life as a parent and professional together, what would be the name of some of the chapters?

Speaker 3: Don't touch my stuff. That's the rule of this household rise early and enjoy the sacred hours. [00:50:30] And excellence is enough. Perfectionism is dysfunctional.

Speaker 2: That's great. If this recording were to last forever and you had generations, your kids, kids, kids, kids, kids could hear a few words from you. What would they be?

Speaker 3: Well, I would say, don't let my voice. That's coming from the past, make [00:51:00] you cry. And this is something I think about a lot, because my voice is in a lot of recordings and places that someday when I'm gone, I wonder if my children will be able to listen to, but just know that with this sound comes a deep, profound, love and hope for your fullness and your joy, because life has to be live, enjoy, which means sorrow and happiness. [00:51:30] It means fullness.

Speaker 2: So in that same vein as a memory, how would you like to be remembered as a dad, as a grandfather? Fun, fun. I love that fun. So a great question that Tim Ferriss asks in his podcast is if you had a billboard, of course, he uses the highways out in California. I'm going to use [inaudible] if there was a billboard on I 95 and, uh, all the dads [00:52:00] driving by it, we're going to see it. Uh, what would you put on that? Billboard

Speaker 3: Love your children, just because,

Speaker 2: And now what are three features of a super dead

Speaker 3: Available, authentic and accessible, the three A's of fatherhood

Speaker 2: And available, authentic and accessible.

Speaker 3: [00:52:30] I just made that up

Speaker 2:


Speaker 3: AAA dad. How about that?

Speaker 2: Well, that kind of answers. This question is, uh, you know, we talked about there not being any metrics to measure, you know, your score, how you're doing as a dad. Um, but if you were going to try to grind down on the success of fatherhood, what would be some of the indicators

Speaker 3: Who will be standing at your bedside when you're dying? That probably is the most revealing one. [00:53:00] That's great.

Speaker 2: And milestones as a dad, are there some that you recall?

Speaker 3: I had the privilege of marrying both my two daughters. So I, I stood there watching Julie come toward me down the aisle with tears, dripping my face. Wondering how in the world am I going to get through this [00:53:30] with Laura? I had the opportunity to walk her down the aisle and then turn around and get up on the step and start the service. But I still, I think I cried more through the service than anyone else, because I had the privilege of being there. Now, baptizing, the children, the grandchildren is one has already been baptized. The second one is to come that are also [00:54:00] is just a remarkable tearful, joyful experience.

Speaker 2: And then finally, and lastly, anything that you'd like to say to your kids or grandchildren?

Speaker 3: Oh, I don't have to say it. They know it.

Speaker 2: That's great. Well, thank you very much for taking the time with me to have this conversation. I really enjoyed it. I learned a lot and I hope, uh, other people listen and I want to take an opportunity to plug your website where we can learn [00:54:30] more about you. It's uh, Patnode uh, dot com. Correct. Could you spell that? P a T N a U D, books and podcasts and events and, um, and more and more. So thank you very much for the time and,

Speaker 3: And thank you Tyler for doing this work. This is a great idea, and I hope it really touches the lives of many.

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